We bought our house in Sept 2013 and have been ripping out the half-dead jungle that was the previous landscaping. Now, we have a blank slate and I have no idea what to do to make it look nice. We are in Zone 6/7 and 453 meters above sea Level. We get an average of 45 inches of rainfall a year with the heaviest rains in June, July and August. Our average temperatures are in the 60's and 70's in summer with some days in the 80's and 90's but not many. In winter, the average is between 30 and 50 degrees with it occassionally dropping in the Teens and 20's, but not that often. Winter months are gloomy and gray.
The south east Corner of our property is my dilema for now. The space is fairly large and I recently built a hugelbed with some of the spare Wood from trees we cut down. My husband dug a trench roughly 20" deep and 3.5 feet wide, so that it wouldn't be too tall upon completion. It stands 3-ish feet above ground now. The Trouble area is directly in front of the hugelbed towards the street. My husband would be happy with a hedge and grass. I want a permaculture type landscape with a nice blend of flowers, trees, shrubs and Food producing plants. I would like to plant 2 fruit trees along the sidewalk, but up on the slope a bit. On the southern slope towards the neighbor, I am leaning towards planting some Grapes and putting riverrocks below to absorb heat during the day.
As far as design goes, I really don't know what to do. Since we have 4 seasons, I want to be sure that not all plants are dormant in the winter so that we still have some Color (at least green).
The soil has a clay like consistency to it, so mulch is mandatory to Keep it moist when we have dry weeks. I would for the garden to ultimately not require watering, but for the occasional dry periods, we are installing a rainwater tank at some Point.
I can re-shape the ground as necessary when our landscape person comes to rip out the remaining 4 tree trunks in the back and move some large rocks for us. We are in Switzerland and most People don't know what permaculture is. Because of that, I want to be sure that whatever I end up doing Looks great and is appealing so that maybe it will prompt others in the area to follow suit.